NBA's Joel Embiid breaks stereotypes with Under Armour endorsement deal
The Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has signed a five-year footwear and apparel endorsement deal with Under Armour, which is expected to make the 7-foot basketball player the highest-paid at his position.
ESPN has described Embiid as “this year's most coveted sneaker free agent” as he received a number of brand deal offers. On September 28, Embiid submitted his signed offer sheet at the end of a 76ers media session when he was first seen wearing the new HOVR Havoc sneaker, part of his endorsement.
"There's a stereotype about big men that can't sell shoes,” Embiid told ESPN. “When I look at myself, I'm not a big man; I'm a guard… I can do everything on the basketball court. You can name it -- pass, post up, shoot the ball, bring the ball up, being a playmaker. So I'm excited to break that stereotype. I can't wait to do so much more with Under Armour."
Embiid was previously an ambassador for Adidas and the business decided not to exercise its standard "match clause" rights on the Under Armour offer sheet, leaving Embiid free to go ahead with the deal.
"When I sat down with Under Armour, one of the first things we talked about was how this can be bigger than just shoes, bigger than just basketball," Embiid himself wrote.
"Basketball has given me everything, but it has to be bigger than basketball. That was the first thing that I said to Under Armour, and they were behind it 100 percent. This isn't about a shoe deal. I mean, listen ... I'm gonna make sure they design some shoes as pretty as I am. Don't worry about that. We're gonna take care of that. But this is bigger than that. I want to use this partnership to do something real."
The Baltimore-based brand Under Armour has also offered Embiid a number of extras as part of the deal including building him custom-made footwear, additional charity commitments in Philadelphia and his homeland of Cameroon, and potential capsule releases of branded footwear and apparel to come later.
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